Monday, March 3, 2014

HSBC Hyderabad Bird Race 2014

The 5th Hyderabad Bird Race was held on Sunday, 02nd  March 2014 in Hyderabad. The race was conducted by  Birdwatchers’ Society of Andhra Pradesh (BSAP), and Great Hyderabad Adventure Club (GHAC), along with The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC). The Bird Race was a dawn to dusk event where teams of bird-watchers spent the entire day birding in and around  the green habitats in the city.  The Birders were flagged off early in the morning by Chief Guest and APIIC
MD Mr Jayesh Ranjan, IAS . This was the fifth time such an event was held n Hyderabad in which around 90 participants took part in groups of 4 each. The age of the participants was a young as 4 and as old as
65.  About 155 species of birds were recorded around the city.

Mr Jayesh Ranjan, IAS addressing the gathering at the bird race evening

There were no pre-determined routes to the Bird Race - Participants observed the birds at multiple locations all within 50  km radius of the city and came up with their own tally of species.  An evening program was held at Hotel Haritha Plaza where the top three teams were given prices based on the tallies checked by the judges. Mr Jayesh Ranjan MD APIIC also attended the evening function and gave away  prices to the winning teams. The event was Sponsored by HSBC, Mr Aritro Mukerjee VP – HSBC Premier, spoke on the concept of India bird races that takes part in 15 cities across India including Hyderabad and assured HSBC’s continues support to the event. Diyanat Ali, Founder Director Great Hyderabad Adventure Club spoke on the health many health benefits associated with bird watching which help in developing good memory and focus, reduces stress and anxiety and makes the birder patient, calm and composed.

Participants of the Hyderabad Bird Race

Earlier bird races in Hyderabad have recorded more than 260 species of birds. The teams visited   open habitats, agricultural tracts, semi-arid landscapes, inland wetlands, secondary growth, and areas with human population.  As per Humayun member BSAP, the Bar headed goose which is  a migratory bird coming from Central Asia and Himalayas are still being found in the city which is an unusual phenomenon  as they leave the city by  February .  Many birders reported the sightings of flamingos at the Gandipet backwaters.

Bar headed Goose
Grey Heron

While the bird race was meant to be primarily fun activity, it also gives a insight into various species of birds and their changing habitats.  Some birders reported the disappearing habitats, Shrinking lakes and felling of trees and digging of mud at many birding habitats around the city like ameenpur lake, narsapur forest and the growing concern of many birders is that they will have to travel to far off distances for birding as the habitats in and around the city are lost to development an encroachment.

Rudy Shellduck

White Breasted Kingfisher

The event helped to create awareness and conservation ethos among the citizens for bird and environment conservation. The participants were also sensitized towards the bird injuries that kill hundreds of birds
during the kite flying festival Sankratri.

The winners of the Hyderabad Bird Race 2014 were

1)      First - Team Name Geese with participants Manipal, Prasad, Eva, Bindu
2)      Second - Team Name: Eagles with participants Asif, Ashwin, Siddharth and Hemant
3)      Third - Team Name: Falcons with participants Prashant, Suryatej, Manjoy and Gururaju

Writeup By Diyanat Ali
Evening Function Pics by Humayun of BSAP
Morning Flag off and Birds Pictures by Hemant from BSAP

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